Blackfoot River Outfitters, Inc., MT

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter in Missoula, Montana

Blackfoot River Outfitters, Inc., MT


Blackfoot River Outfitters is a family-run business located in the heart of trout fishing paradise. Owners John Herzer and Terri Raugland are experienced guides and outfitters who have worked the waters of western Montana for more than 20 years and guided around the world. Our guides know the water, the fish, the hatches, the wildlife, and the landscape. With over 400 river miles within an hour's drive of Missoula, we're able to choose among the dozens of floating and wading options to ensure that, regardless of season, you have a great time and a great opportunity to catch fish. Blackfoot River Outfitters is keenly aware that their livelihood depends on clean water and healthy fisheries. Blackfoot River Outfitters actively supports catch-and-release fishing and habitat preservation.

Date Range

Blackfoot River Outfitters' typical guide season starts about mid-March and ends mid-October, give or take (weather dependent).

What is Provided to Customer

Blackfoot River Outfitters provides everything needed to have a great day of fly fishing: rods, reels, flies, shuttle, transportation, and a great riverside lunch. You will just need to have a valid Montana fishing license for the day.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

Take out an atlas. Find western Montana. See all those wavy blue lines? That, in brief, is why there's no better place on the planet to fly fish for trout than Missoula, Montana. The Bitterroot, Big Blackfoot, Clark Fork, and Rock Creek are our meat and potato rivers, but our operation plan includes a host of other famed waters including, but not limited to: the Big Hole River, Smith River, Missouri River, Dearborn River, Beaverhead River, and Georgetown Lake. Most of these rivers are both floatable and wadeable, although we run 90% of our guided trips from either a raft or a driftboat.

Typical Weather by Season

Missoula, Montana's fishing season is quite long when you consider the opportunities of the spring and late fall fishing here. Our season usually starts mid-March with Skwala hatch—it's the first stonefly of the year and can be some of the best dry-fly fishing of the year. Spring weather fluctuates rapidly here—snow, rain, hail, cloud cover, bright sun—you name it, we've seen it. Typically though, it's cooler in the morning (waders, light jacket for attire) and then warms nicely throughout the meat of the day (t-shirt with waders) and then cools again toward evening as the sun sets over the mountains. Summer weather is usually pretty pleasant with temps ranging from the high 70s to low 80s in June and early July. Mid to high 80s and low 90s throughout late July and August are about standard with an occasional rain shower in the afternoons in July. Fall is about as good as it gets weather-wise in Montana. September starts out nice and warm, getting cooler throughout the month—typically temps range in the 70s to low 80s on a warm day. October is when we really break out the "gear" for weather; earlier in the month is usually still pleasant, but as we hit the second week of October, we notice the fishing window of opportunity is much smaller due to a lack of warmer temperatures throughout the day. Our guiding season typically concludes about October 15 due to cooler weather and a lack of bug activity.


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Trip itineraries vary depending on the individual. We cater to most any trip and itinerary folks are interested in. Our guides are well versed in full-day, half-day, and overnight fly-fishing trips. A typical guide day starts about 8am, meeting at our fly shop or local hotel, fishing throughout the day, and finishing up anywhere between 5:30pm and 7:30pm, depending on river conditions and weather.


Species You Fish for by Season

Montana rivers are full of healthy, wild trout. We do not stock our rivers and practice catch and release on all of our guided fly-fishing trips. Westslope cutthroats, rainbows, browns, and bull trout are among the species caught in western Montana.


What Should Customers Bring?

Montana rivers are full of healthy, wild trout. We do not stock our rivers and practice catch and release on all of our guided fly-fishing trips. Westslope cutthroats, rainbows, browns, and bull trout are among the species caught in western Montana.

Fly Shop

Our Fly Shop

Blackfoot River Outfitters is a full-service fly shop located in Missoula, Montana.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is a typical gratuity?
A. Guide gratuities range anywhere from 15 to 20 percent.

Q. Where is the closest airport?
A. Missoula International Airport is located in Missoula and services many hubs.

Q. What do you provide?
A. We provide all the gear and flies on our guided fly-fishing trips.

Q. What rivers do you guide?
A. We guide the following area rivers: Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Clark Fork, and Rock Creek as well as many others located in other drainages.

Q. Do you use driftboats or rafts on a float trip?
A. Most of our guides have both rafts and driftboats for floating.

Q. What weight rod will we be using?
A. A 9-foot 5-weight fly rod is standard for fishing our area rivers and lakes.


Overall: Show Rating Distribution 5.0 / 5 based on 54 reviews


54 of 54 reviewers would recommend this product to a friend.

  • 5/5

    Water Warm and Low But Guides Prevailed - 7/23/2015
    By: from The Woodlands, TX

    With low runoff and warm temperature, conditions were less than ideal, but the guides found a way to put me on fish. They worked hard to back row on some good spots to ensure better chances for fish. I was impressed with how hard they worked.

  • 5/5

    Back to Missoula with our BRO's - 6/15/2015
    By: from Calabasas, CA, USA

    It's back to Missoula for our first of 5 separate 1 week guided stays for 2015 with BRO. This week saw us with Jed, Kurt and John. Each day gave us a new adventure in fly fishing as well as a chance to just meld with mother nature. Thanks to all 3 of the guides from BRO my buddy Simon upped his skill level to the point where he was casting dries, dry-droppers and streamers beautifully in 30 knot gusts of wind... consistently. This skill set normally takes years of decades yet the folks at BRO taught him in 5 days. There is a reason my friends and family, from beginners to experts, keep coming back, year after year where even new comers to the sport are hooked after a few minutes with this incredible guide service. It is the amazing mix of fly-fishing teaching and guiding as well as the zen of being one with nature that these fabulous guides exude and imbue each and every day. There is a shear joy of life combined with simply being alive that is imparted to we the customers on each and every adventure. I am so fortunate in that I fish more than half the year and I am even more fortunate that I get to spend so many guided days with the amazing folks of Blackfoot River Outfitters. Sure, I can go out on my own and fish the amazing rivers and lakes of Montana but BRO guided trips are my guilty or non guilty pleasure. After all, isn't that what living life to it's fullest is all about? If every you wanted to give your kids, wife, husband, parents or friends the greatest gift for any occasion get them a day or a week of guided trips with the folks from BRO. You will be giving the gift of memories that will last the recepient a life time.

  • 5/5

    Fly Fishing Lessons - 5/8/2015
    By: from Missoula, MT, USA

    KynsLee was so much fun to work with. She taught me so much in a short time and made it easy for me to understand. She gave me a great start and made me excited to get out on the river. I would recommend her and will probably do a guided trip too.

  • 5/5

    Fly fishing lessons - 5/6/2015
    By: from Missoula

    KynsLee gave a wonderful basics class. I plan to take more from her. Everyone at BRO is friendly and helpful. I've been in the shop a few times for advice.

  • 5/5

    Dry fly extrordinaire - 4/20/2015
    By: from Chicago, IL, USA

    One would think my 18 th year of fishing with John and Blackfoot river outfitters is that things would maybe seem repetitive. That is the beauty of their people and their concerns for,your enjoyment. This year I was challenged with something I had only heard about. Fishing with a single dry fly all day for three days. The results and learning from the experience are highlights in my Montana fishing history. Thanks again for how good you guys remain and how willing you are to heighten the experience. Thx

  • 5/5

    A great day on the Bitterroot - 4/17/2015
    By: from Philipsburg, MT 59858, USA

    I am fortunate to live in western Montana, and do a lot of fishing on my own. But every year I try to fish with BRO a few times because I always learn new techniques, new water, etc. (and have someone else to row the boat!) this week I spent a day on the Bitterroot with John Herzer. Great fishing, all on dries. John is an expert at positioning the boat to give the angler the best opportunity for success, and his knowledge of the river and the bugs is unsurpassed. And he's a fun guy to be around! I look forward to my next trip with BRO.

  • 5/5

    Fishing with Jason - 2/7/2015
    By: from East Killingly, CT 06241, USA

    We fished two days with Jason, one day on the Bitterroot, and one day on the Clark Fork. We had a great time! Good company, lots of fish, wonderful scenery and wildlife! Highly recommended.

  • 5/5

    Top Notch in every aspect - 12/29/2014

    I have been fortunate to fish some of the best "blue ribbon" waters in Montana and elsewhere. These folks are hands down the best in customer service and providing the best overall experience for their clients. I had been getting up at 3:00 a.m. several days in a row and flew across the country the day before the trip. I went into the shop in the afternoon and I kept calling Terri "Stephanie". I swear, I was not drinking, just totally sleep deprived. It got to the point where were joking about it and the next morning, our guide, Mark Elliot brought it up. Funny all the way around. The next morning Mark was there on time and ready to go. He was personable, presentable and most important, professional. I booked this 1/2 day trip with my Wife who only fly fished two other times. He was extremely patient and able to help her with her casting and other "technical" aspects. Most importantly, he was patient, which made her very happy. She caught the first fish soon after the launch. You are doing yourself a disservice by not selecting this group. Ask for Mark, he was the best Guide I ever hired. You will not be disappointed because they treat like you are their first customers of the year and not the 1000th at the end of a long season. I could not be happier with my choice. Now I have to convince my kids to go to college in Missoula so I can come back more often.

  • 5/5

    Back in the Saddle again - 10/16/2014
    By: from Calabasas, CA, USA

    Returned last week from what is rapidly becoming my monthly BRO/Montana fix. I have been fishing my entire life so folks ask me why do I still use a guide service every day in Montana? My answer is very simple. BRO is not just a guide service, they are more of a lifetime experience provider. It almost seems as if every day and every trip with BRO, provides another in a long string of incredible memories. I cannot make that statement with the Myriad of other guide services I have experienced throughout the world. I have a credo to live life to it's fullest and attempt to maximize each day I am alive. I find BRO always comes through for me in this regard by providing the very best chance to fish the very best waters with the very best opportunity to maximize the incredible bounty in and around the rivers, streams and lakes found within a few hours or less of Missoula, Montana. Do yourself a favor by experiencing Montana BRO style.

  • 5/5

    A day to remember - 10/14/2014
    By: from Missoula, MT, USA

    Blackfoot river is magnificent. If you add some top quality guides, professional equipment and perfect weather, then you have an once in a lifetime adventure. We had 9 guys, 5 boats and everything went great! Highly recommend these guys.

Blackfoot River Outfitters
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitters
John Herzer or Terri Raugland
3055 N Reserve Street, Suite A1
Missoula, MT 59808

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